Our Green Back-to-School Routine


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TomsOfMaineSmile #LuminousWhites #CollectiveBias

Summer is for staying up late, traveling, swimming in the pool, and playing outdoors. This means our schedule gets a little out of whack, but with school beginning next week, it’s time we get back on-track with a better routine. What makes this year’s school routine kind of exciting is that the kids are going to a new school! Last year, Lydia’s school began at 8:45 and Bryce’s began at 9:00, but this year, they both start school at 7:45, so things will definitely have to change for us. We try to find ways to establish routines that help our family, our community, and our planet Earth. So here is our green back-to-school routine!

Use green hygiene products

Tom’s of Maine® has been a staple in our home since Lydia was a baby. All Tom’s of Maine® natural personal care and oral care products are made with no artificial colors, flavors, fragrances, or preservatives, nor are they tested on animals, and 10% of profits to human and environmental goodness. Tom’s of Maine® Toothpaste is available in so many varieties, and is great for the whole family {we have one tube in the master bath, one in the kids’ bathroom}. This is the first time we tried the Tom’s of Maine® Luminous White™Toothpaste, and I think it’s going to be our new favorite. Tom’s of Maine® Deodorant is available for both men and women, so I picked up one for Richard and one for me. The Tom’s of Maine® Long Lasting Deodorant for women is available in my favorite scent — wild lavender!

Click here to sign up for Ibotta and earn $1.00 with the purchase of any size, any variety Tom’s of Maine® toothpaste.

Support your community

We already have a set routine each Saturday morning. We wake up, eat breakfast, and walk a mile to our neighborhood farmer’s market around 9:30 am. It’s a great way to support our community and the local farmers, and we plan to continue this routine when the school year begins. We will grab breakfast food, lunch box items, and after school treats.

Save on gas

This is the first year both children are at the same school, which means I only have to make one trip, the same time each day, to the same school. My children’s school is about 2 miles from our house, so as the weather gets cooler {around November}, we can even walk to school together. This is a great way to save on gas and get in some exercise together as a family. It’s also an absolutely beautiful walk through the woods to their school on an awesome trail, so we can enjoy nature as well.

Teach your children to recycle

Elementary school is a great time to teach your children about recycling. In our community, we have two recycle bins: one for glass and plastic, one for paper and cardboard. Lydia recycled our Tom’s of Maine® packaging, which is also recyclable through TerraCycle®.  In addition to recycling, teach your children the importance of choosing reusable containers for their school lunches, like insulated stainless steel water cups and lidded plastic food containers.

Work on the native garden

We visited our local museum for a butterfly plant sale and a local nursery to purchase native plants. We planted them in front of our house, and they have already attracted so many butterflies and bees. It rains here almost daily during the summer, so we don’t have to tend to the plants too much, but when fall arrives, the kids can definitely help take care of our native butterfly garden by watering it daily.

Are you looking to green your school routine? Whole Foods Market carries a variety of Tom’s of Maine products for the entire family. Be sure to check out the “Green your school for the greater good program” at Whole Foods. By choosing Tom’s of Maine®, you can help create a $1,000,000 fund to help make schools more sustainable through DonorsChoose.org. Here’s how it works:

  • Imagine: Teachers identify ways they can educate their students about green initiatives
  • Submit: Teachers submit their classroom projects and supply requests through DonorsChoose.org.
  • Fund: Every project is automatically matched by the Tom’s of Maine Green Your School Fund. The remaining amount can be funded by anyone at any amount they choose, until the full project amount has been reached
  • Receive: Once projects are fully funded, supplies are delivered to straight to schools.

Learn more at GreenSchoolFund.com

How can you “green” your back-to-school routine?

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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One Response to Our Green Back-to-School Routine

  1. We also love Tom’s of Maine products in our household. Right now, I am loving the Spearmint toothpaste, and apricot deodorant. I love that you are perfectly positioned to have such beautiful nature to enjoy while bringing your kids to school. #client

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